Introducing Hayley, the founder of Luv Lou. With previous experience in assistant buying at General Pants and a background in primary school teaching, Hayley's journey to entrepreneurship has been diverse and dynamic. It was during her time as a teacher that Luv Lou began to flourish, eventually leading Hayley to take the leap and pursue her business full-time. 
In 2021, amidst the excitement of continuing Luv Lou, Hayley welcomed her son Dusty into the world. Just three days old, Dusty joined Hayley and her sister in the warehouse, packing their orders with 'The Iconic'. For Hayley, the thrill of running her own business and embracing motherhood went hand in hand, requiring her to master the art of multitasking from the very beginning.



How did the idea for LUVLOU come about? 

Luv Lou was born over a sisterly coffee catch up where Jayde and I were seeking a creative project. Jayde and I had always shared a love for vintage sunglasses so thought this would be a good place to start. We both had a forever expanding collection and were soon realising that the way girls shopped eyewear was changing. It wasn’t before long that we had our first samples to review, and we dived into bringing Luv Lou to life.


Was there a pivotal moment in your journey that empowered you to take the plunge to launch and pursue your business endeavours?

I believe there are many moments that stand out when growing a business that gives you a silent nudge to keep pursuing what you are doing. The first moment would have been, sharing the original samples with family and friends and having their support to take the challenge and them believing in your vision. We also were quietly realising that when we were outgrowing our warehouse space and shipping pallets of stock to the iconic that we could be on to something special that required more and more love.




Balancing the chaos of motherhood and the demands of running a business can leave anyone feeling overwhelmed. How do you prioritise your commitments and set boundaries?

Chaos is the perfect word for it, operating in organised chaos becomes your forte when you become a mum. It truly takes a village; I am so lucky to have a beautiful support network around me with family that help with Dusty and have done so since day one. This has allowed me to fulfill my commitments with work, I do believe planning and setting boundaries with your time is the only way to give your all to your family and work. We try and spend a lot of time together as a family on the weekends, and enjoy little ritual moments mid-week (coffee and a marshmallow) at the local café.   


How do you believe your experiences as a woman and mother have shaped your approach to leadership and decision-making within your business?

It has both taught and allowed me to be more productive and intentional with my time. I find I am more of a decisive leader and decision maker. I have an extra layer of empathy for women and mothers now learning first-hand what we have to juggle, I want to encourage women to have it all and not just to be mums. Therefore, I advocate and support businesses that allow for flexible hours and adaptable working structures, so that it is possible to be a working mum. 


In what ways do you advocate for gender equality and support other women in your industry?

Since Luv Lou began, my sister and I have always been surrounded by the most hardworking loyal staff. Majority are mums themselves and the way we try and support them is by offering flexible hours so they can do drop off and pick-ups with their kids, flexible work from home options allowing them to be able to be there for us and their families. I believe women empowering women is the most powerful foundation.




What challenges have you faced as a woman in business, and how have you overcome them?

I think the biggest challenge for me in my experience has been the juggling act of having your first child and still trying to run a business and get back to work. I think the key to overcoming this hurdle is firstly patience and kindness to yourself in the process. Followed by passion and determination in doing something for yourself, work is fulfilling for me so when I took the first step diving back in, it felt good. 


When it comes to managing the dual responsibilities of motherhood and entrepreneurship, what support systems, resources, or networks have been your saving-grace?

I have never felt so grateful to be surrounded by my family to care for Dusty and his wonderful day care teachers to act as my support system. I also have turned to my beautiful friends, podcasts have been really uplifting and inspiring and reading what I can to find some take outs to in my day to day.


Being a founder and a mother requires immense strength and resilience. How do you prioritize self-care and well-being while managing the demands of both?

I prioritise gifting myself with that coffee in the morning, walking outside in nature, an ocean swim throughout summer and a good catch up with my friends to fill my cup.



Can you highlight a mentor or role model who has inspired you on your journey, and share the impact they've had on your career?

I couldn’t possibly choose one. I have been lucky to be surrounded with so many mentors over the years throughout my different careers, I also have found my own mother a beautiful mentor and guiding light. 


Finally, on International Women's Day, what message would you like to share with women around the world who are pursuing their dreams and breaking barriers in their respective fields?

Walk into the challenges and opportunities with grace, power and sheer determination because we can all pursue our dreams and have a voice.


 Our Fearless Quickfire 

1.    Early bird or night owl? Early bird all the way.

2.    Wine or Gin? Gin.

3.    Favourite productivity hack? When in doubt just call.

4.    Best source of motivation? Warm sunny weather.

5.    Are you a planner or Planner.

6.    Must-have item in your entrepreneur/mum survival kit? Snacks.

7.    One word to describe your parenting style? Realistic.

8.    Go-to stress-relief technique? Create a clean space and breath.

9.  Favourite podcast or book for inspiration or business insights? Startup Diaries.

10.  One thing you wish you had more time for? Live music.

11. One word that describes the intersection of motherhood and entrepreneurship for you? CRAZY. 



March 06, 2024